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  1. #1

    What Les Paul do I have?

    I acquired this Les Paul in 1992 I was told it was a 1969, the guitar originally I believe was a gold top but it was painted by the person that sold it to me, the paint job is pretty good however its covers the serial number, so my question to the community is can you tell me what I have, i.e. year and or anything about it that can help me identify what it really is. Thanks in advance,
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/9KU49cqWgjPBf9Z59
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/NqHU3NMMasSsqVrC6

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member Grog's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
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    382

    Re: What Les Paul do I have?

    It’s a Les Paul Custom, it never was any other color than black most likely. If it is a 1969, it wouldn’t have a “MADE IN USA” stamp under the serial # & there would be no “Volute” at the area that the neck meets the headstock. A photo of the back of the headstock would help. Also you can take the controls plate of & see if you can read one of the pot codes. It should be something like 1376942. On the example 137=CTS 69=year pot was made 42=week of that year. Sometimes they are all covered with solder, but you can usually make out one or at least the year.......

  3. #3

    Re: What Les Paul do I have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grog View Post
    It’s a Les Paul Custom, it never was any other color than black most likely. If it is a 1969, it wouldn’t have a “MADE IN USA” stamp under the serial # & there would be no “Volute” at the area that the neck meets the headstock. A photo of the back of the headstock would help. Also you can take the controls plate of & see if you can read one of the pot codes. It should be something like 1376942. On the example 137=CTS 69=year pot was made 42=week of that year. Sometimes they are all covered with solder, but you can usually make out one or at least the year.......
    Thank you very much for your response, here is the back of the head-stock, https://photos.app.goo.gl/qqq3rE19wrrHM11Y7 I'm guessing it dose not have the "Volute" is that correct? When I purchase this in 1992 I was trading another guitar for it + some money and negotiated the guitar without all of the original parts like pots, knobs trust rod cover etc. as the seller wanted more money for those items and at the time I did not realize how important it would be to have it never the less here is a shot of the inside, https://photos.app.goo.gl/kNYRq1wxshNHaDWi6 I do have a question for you and or the community is if I was to try and reveal the serial # and a "Made in USA" stamp would some paint remover get me there? I've seen pictures on google with what looks to be a stamp however I've seen others that appear to be a decal, what would you recommend doing to recover the serial under the paint?
    Thanks in advance
    Best,

  4. #4

    Re: What Les Paul do I have?

    the pots and caps look original ..personally I wouldn’t touch the paint to try to reveal the stamped serial # ..I’m curious what that area would look like under a blacklight

  5. #5

    Re: What Les Paul do I have?

    Quote Originally Posted by garywright View Post
    the pots and caps look original ..personally I wouldn’t touch the paint to try to reveal the stamped serial # ..I’m curious what that area would look like under a blacklight
    Thank you for your response, I appreciate your comments on the pots, I really do not remember whats original so good to know that you believe the pots look original the pickup are not which lead me t believe the pots were not either, don't have a black light but did try laser pointer but no luck.
    Best

  6. #6

    Re: What Les Paul do I have?

    The blacklight isn’t for brightness intensity but rather a “army green glow” that could possibly reveal what’s been re-sprayed and what hasn’t

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member Grog's Avatar
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    Re: What Les Paul do I have?

    1975,76 & part of 77 an oval decal was used. It had both the serial # and the “MADE IN USA” on it. During this time it would have also had the neck volute, yours doesn’t. Were you able to make out any of the pot codes? Like Garywright said, they do look original & should go a long way to date this guitar. I wonder if it needed a headstock repair at one time, a possible reason to sand the serial # off.

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member guitplayer's Avatar
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    Re: What Les Paul do I have?

    Wiring Channel location looks like more of a 1972-73
    " Never Mind Your Face, just show us your card"

  9. #9

    Re: What Les Paul do I have?

    “ I'm guessing it dose not have the "Volute" is that correct? ”
    Yes..no volute

    ( just realized Grog mentions this in post #7 )
    Last edited by garywright; 02-18-20 at 05:19 PM. Reason: post 7

  10. #10

    Re: What Les Paul do I have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grog View Post
    1975,76 & part of 77 an oval decal was used. It had both the serial # and the “MADE IN USA” on it. During this time it would have also had the neck volute, yours doesn’t. Were you able to make out any of the pot codes? Like Garywright said, they do look original & should go a long way to date this guitar. I wonder if it needed a headstock repair at one time, a possible reason to sand the serial # off.
    Thanks for your detailed response, I'll check the pot codes tomorrow or weekend for sure, I didn't realize they are on the side when I took the picture but saw another post from someone with # on the side. Its a bit of a mystery that I never bothered to uncover until now, your analysis of a neck repair would explain the sellers paint job and why he parted with it back in the day, makes me wonder if the neck was damaged was it repaired correctly, anyways really appreciate the help.
    Best,

  11. #11

    Re: What Les Paul do I have?

    Quote Originally Posted by garywright View Post
    The blacklight isn’t for brightness intensity but rather a “army green glow” that could possibly reveal what’s been re-sprayed and what hasn’t
    I ordered a blacklight flashlight yesterday on Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    hopefully this will work.. I'll respond back once I have tested it..
    Cheers,

  12. #12

    Re: What Les Paul do I have?

    Quote Originally Posted by guitplayer View Post
    Wiring Channel location looks like more of a 1972-73
    Thanks for your observation I do appreciate you and everyone's input on this thread, I'll reply back once I get access to them.
    Best

  13. #13

    Re: What Les Paul do I have?

    Quote Originally Posted by garywright View Post
    “ I'm guessing it dose not have the "Volute" is that correct? ”
    Yes..no volute

    ( just realized Grog mentions this in post #7 )
    Thanks Gary, appreciate the confirmation, I never knew about the "Volute" really good info I have learned in just a day, I had stumbled on the late 60s LP site and was getting some great reading in last night.
    Cheers,

  14. #14

    Re: What Les Paul do I have?

    Quote Originally Posted by garywright View Post
    The blacklight isn’t for brightness intensity but rather a “army green glow” that could possibly reveal what’s been re-sprayed and what hasn’t
    So really cool Gary, the black light worked!!! Thank you Sir, was not easy but ended up holding a magnifying glass next to a large mirror in the dark and made out all six of the #s, (kind of felt like mission impossible) if I'm reading correctly I have first three numbers of 847-xxx so according to this chart http://www.latesixtieslespauls.com/serial.asp its looking like I do have a late 1969 about August or September based on next number I'm guessing. Additionally I was very surprised to see the work that was reviled under the paint too, fortunately nothing big, majority of the body looks great under the black light, but things I noticed were filled wood holes where the original tuners must have been screwed in, there was also couple of small marks around the 10th fret on the back of the neck that you would look like the guitar took a spill and probably had dents and if I was playing the guitar all of the time and felt those indentations it would have driven me crazy so understandably why the guitar was refinished. Very cool, this weekend Ill see if I can get the pot #s of the guitar.
    Many thanks for everyone that has taken the time to respond!
    Best

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